Last update: 22nd December 2019.
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If you’re reading this post, it probably means you’re either thinking of starting a blog or are ready to do so. I made this same decision a few years ago, and I must say that my life has changed considerably since then. Thanks to my blog I’ve been able to:
- explore new effective ways of making money online
- meet a bunch of fellow bloggers who are always willing to help
- improve my writing skills (I’m not a native English speaker)
- learn many other skills: photography, design and marketing, among others.
Starting a blog is an exciting journey whose destiny is yet to be decided. Just as in real life, there are as many possible paths you can take as there are people in the world. And taking one or another will totally depend on you — it’s your blog after all.
As a blogger, you can write about absolutely anything. However, if you want to profit from it, first you’ll have to make a relatively hard choice: What do you want to write about? Below I’ll show you which topics work better than others when it comes to making money blogging.
In addition to guiding you through the steps for starting a blog, I’ll also talk about a free web hosting service and also a website where you can buy a custom domain name for less than a tenner… per year!
I hope this post helps you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I’ll be more than happy to answer all your questions.
OKAY. Let’s do this!
Niche Blog vs Multi-Topic Blog
First off, let’s assume that you want to monetize your new blog. There’s a very important decision that you must make before anything else.
You should know that you’re not writing for yourself — if you want to write for yourself, write a journal! On the contrary, you’re writing to teach or inspire other people. And they don’t care what you ate for dinner last night. They actually want you to teach them how you cooked that delicious dinner instead.
You’re not writing for yourself: You’re writing to teach or inspire others.
Most expert (and non-expert) bloggers would tell you the same: the first thing you need to do when you start a blog is picking a niche. Well, that’s true, but having a niche blog isn’t the only way.
A niche is a topic you enjoy and know lots about. For instance: travel, lifestyle, DIY crafts, science, celebrities, politics… You name it. There are zillions of topics — and sub-topics — you can write about on your blog.
You may think you’re not an expert in anything, but perhaps you know a little about a lot of subjects, and that’s enough to start writing about something!
Pick something that you’re passionate about and you’re very good at. Or, at least, something that you’re interested in. Do some research until you become a kind of expert in that field.
I know this may be a tough decision. It was for me when I first started my blog.
Ask yourself: If I had to write about just one thing my entire life, what would that be?
TBH, I couldn’t answer that question with just one word. If I had to write about one single thing for the rest of my life, I’d die of boredom! And that’s precisely why I run a multi-topic blog.
In a multi-topic blog, a blogger can write about different topics. This may sound really cool and easy, but if you want to monetize your blog you’ll need to find a good strategy. Actually, it’s much easier to make money with a niche blog.
You should also bear in mind that if you want to monetize your blog, this niche you choose should be something people want to pay for.
I recommend that you first take a look at the following articles:
- Top 14 Popular Blog Niche Ideas That Make Real Money 
- The Best Blog Niche Ideas For Making Money in 2019
- Top 23 Blog Niches That Drive Traffic & Make Money (2019)
If you finally decide to create a multi-topic blog, make sure that the overall structure of your blog makes at least some sense.
For instance, in the popular blog A Beautiful Mess, sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman write about a variety of topics: DIY crafts, home décor, recipes, style, make-up, business, etc. This may seem like a lot, but their focus is quite clear: To create happiness through a homemade lifestyle. This concept encompasses all the mentioned categories.
If you still don’t know what to write about, another method is starting to write about a lot of different things and then narrowing down until you find that topic that you like most.
Name Your Blog
Now it’s time to give your blog a name. This part can be really fun and a bit frustrating at the same time!
It can be your full name, a phrase — for example, something related to your niche — or a nickname/
My blog is called Norma Linnet because ‘linnet’ is the English translation of my real surname. So, in my case, I picked a pseudonym.
Brainstorm ideas until you find something that really sounds like you. If you can’t come up with anything interesting, why don’t you try using this smart Blog Name Generator by Satori Studio? It’s free and very easy to use. All you need to do is typing one or more keywords into the generator box and you’ll get an extensive list of blog name ideas corresponding to .com available domains.
With this tool, you won’t need to research on Google to know if your desired blog name is taken. Blog Name Generator will do that for you!
Free Web Hosting
When I created my blog three years ago, I opened a free account at x10Hosting.
x10Hosting is a FREE web hosting service that includes unlimited bandwidth and storage, cPanel access, One-Click WordPress Installer (plus other +30 popular apps), PHP, and MySQL.
That’s just everything you need to start a blog! And considering that you’ll only be testing the waters of blogging, you don’t run the risk of getting bored and wasting money on a service that you won’t be using.
So starting with free hosting is fine. You’ll always have time to upgrade to a premium account, as I eventually did
Or you can sign up with Bluehost or SiteGround, the two favourite web hosting services among professional bloggers, and which are very affordable. (The only downside is that you have to pay for them yearly, but in the long term, this allows you to save a lot of money.)
Custom Domain Name
Now that your new blog has a place to live, it’s time to give it an address.
If you already purchased a web hosting service with Bluehost or Siteground you can skip this step since a domain name is included in the package.
Your domain should match your blog name. If the .com is taken, you can try another top-level domain (TDL), like .co, .net, .blog, .io,…
Check your domain name availability here:
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
Select a WordPress Theme
Your WordPress theme will define the appearance of your blog. There are literally tons of free and paid WordPress themes available and it’s super easy to install them.
Free Feminine WordPress Themes
It’s a common belief that to be a successful blogger, you need to have a paid WordPress theme. And I say that this isn’t true at all! I’ve been using free themes for YEARS myself and most of them were awesome! (Actually, the one I’m using now is my first Premium WP theme ever.)
It’s true that there are a lot of hideous free themes out there that you’ll never want to use, but these days there are lots of great free themes, too. I personally love girly and feminine themes: 21+ Best Free Feminine WordPress Themes with Elegant Designs 2019
Premium Feminine WordPress Themes
But if you are looking for a paid template right from the start, here are three lovely design websites that I’ve followed for a long time and which also offer some freebies:
Must-Have WordPress Plugins
A plugin is an add-on that can add new features to your blog. You can find most plugins on the WordPress Dashboard or you can download them from the plugins websites or WordPress.org.
- WPForms: The best contact forms plugin for WordPress. It allows your readers and potential clients to contact you.
- Akismet Anti-Spam: The best way to protect your blog from spam. (No need to download it as it comes with WordPress by default.)
- Disqus for WordPress: Disqus is a networked community platform that replaces the WordPress default comment system. It’s used by hundreds of thousands of bloggers to grow their audience.
- GDPR Cookie Consent Banner: It adds your blog a banner that shows your compliance regarding the new EU cookie law. You can style it to match your blog design.
- Gutenberg: A modern and very functional WordPress editor based on blocks. Much better than the classic editor.
- Instagram Feed: Display your IG feed wherever on your blog. Simple to set up and fully customizable.
- MailChimp Forms by Mailmunch: One of the best email marketing tools. It’s used to convert your blog visitors into email subscribers.
- Yoast SEO: The #1 SEO plugin for WordPress, that helps you make your blog as search engine-friendly as possible. (I use the free version.)
You’re all set up! Now you can start writing your first post.
I hope you found this guide useful and that you are very successful with your new blog. And, above all, have fun!